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Horse Watch

Trading Standards are urging locals to be vigilant after an elderly resident was scammed by rogue fish sellers.
Rogue fish sellers may dress in white coats and hats, and will cold call and use aggressive sales tactics to pressure householders into buying large quantities of fish, often claiming that it has been landed that morning from ports on the other side of the country. The fish usually turns out to be short-weight, misdescribed or of inedible quality, and is not from a registered food business.
We would advise all residents not to buy goods or services from cold-callers, and instead use local, reputable traders. Please share this information with any elderly or vulnerable relatives and neighbours. #shutoutscammers

Unsolicited Mail - Possible Scam
We have had a number of reports of households receiving letters through the mail which are pertaining to be from a neighbour who is encouraging local residents to sign up to the Nextdoor App and giving a code to use.
On checking with the named neighbour they have no knowledge, and this appears to be a scam using a genuine App which if signed up to will mean some your details are available to the person who has set it up. This in turn may allow scammers to target you.
Best advice would be that if you receive such an invitation then check with the neighbour who's name is at the top to see if it is a genuine invite.
If in doubt then do not sign up.

There's been a rise in the number of caravan thefts in Dumfries and Galloway recently and Police Scotland ask you to be extra vigilant and to report any suspicious behaviour or vehicles.
We urge caravan owners to review any security measures they have in place and to take steps to reduce the chances of becoming a victim.
Some security measures could include:-
Many different types of caravan alarm are available
*Tracking and registration systems*
Tracking systems enable a vehicle to be located after it has been stolen.
*Stolen vehicle databases*
Since 1992, all touring caravans manufactured by National Caravan Council (NCC) members have been marked on their chassis and on all windows with their unique 17 digit Vehicle Identification Number and these are recorded on the CRiS database.
Additionally, all new caravans manufactured by NCC members since August 1997 are electronically tagged during manufacture for added security.
*Wheel Clamps*
A variety of wheel clamps are available on the market, but not all are sufficiently robust to withstand sustained attack. Look for approval markings by organisations such as Sold Secure.
Arrange to have your vehicle’s registration number etched onto all glass services – including the headlamps. You can also use the last 7 digits of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), or some other unique identifying number linked to a recognised database.
Protect your property from thieves.

Neighbourhood Watch Scotland Would Like to Thank Trading Standards Scotland for the Following Information and Advice

Please look out for vulnerable neighbours.
To prevent scammers knocking on your door, you can request a No Cold Calling sticker from your local Trading Standards office or from Trading Standards Scotland. If an uninvited trader ignores the sticker, they may be committing an offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
Here are some steps you can take to help protect yourself:
✅ Be on guard if someone turns up unexpectedly
✅ Don’t feel pressurised into agreeing to immediate work or buying a product or service
✅ Don’t agree to buy from the first person who calls
✅ Don’t pay cash up front and don't offer to go and get money
✅ Shop around if you decide you need work done
✅ Never let people persuade you to let them into your home – they may not be genuine
✅ If someone is persistent, ask them to call at another time and get a friend or family member to be with you
✅ Report them
If you have concerns about a purchase that you have made, contact Police Scotland on 101 and Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000. If you feel uncomfortable or suspicious about a cold caller in your local area, phone Police Scotland on 101.
We are urging residents to be vigilant of doorstep callers offering home improvement works.
These callers will often use persuasive or aggressive tactics to get householders to agree to have work done, then charge far more than was quoted for poor quality work. They also often fail to provide a legally required cancellation notice which enables the householder to cancel the work within a statutory fourteen day cooling off period.
For any home improvement work, our advice is to always use a Trusted Trader. Using a Trusted Trader means that you can be sure the business is legitimate and operating legally. You can also view feedback given to the business by previous customers. https://crowd.in/c4AF3I
If you have been called in this way and require further advice, or simply want to report the matter, please contact Trading Standards via Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000, or via the ‘Report It’ button on the Dumfries and Galloway Council Website: https://crowd.in/or6llw
Alternatively, you can contact us on 101.

Following recent incidents in a variety of our rural communities where person/s have entered insecure vehicles and stolen items from within, and in some circumstances stolen the vehicle, Police Scotland are urging members of the public to remain vigilant around securing vehicles.
Remove or conceal all valuables that may be on display in your vehicle. Where possible, park up in a well-lit area which has surveillance from occupied properties. Please remember to lock the vehicle and keep the keys in a safe and secure place within your household that cannot be seen from doorways or windows. If the key is a ‘smart’ or passive key (contactless) please ensure that it is stored in a Faraday Pouch or signal blocking container kept in a safe and secure place away from windows and doors.  
Vehicles that are not fitted with an electronic ignition immobiliser, can be secured with a steering lock or pedal clamp.
The same principal applies to agricultural vehicles and plant, in addition, consider the use of hydraulic locks for plant / Agricultural equipment, or Block Stem locks which are fitted to exposed steering rams. These vehicles should be registered with the CESAR scheme and where appropriate a tracking device fitted.
Theft of quad bikes and lightweight utility vehicles has also increased. When not in use these should be parked up where they can be easily observed from occupied premises, the keys removed and immobilised as best as possible. These should also be registered in the CESAR scheme and where appropriate a tracking device can be installed.

SCAM Warning – National Insurance Number

The following information and link has been recently posted by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) and refers to a National Insurance Phishing SCAM.

An automated telephone message claims that the National Insurance number of the recipient will be terminated due to some unethical financial transactions.
The automated message states: "This call is in regards to your National Insurance number. Ignoring this final warning may lead you to legal troubles. The reason behind this phone call is to inform you that your National Insurance number will be terminated due to some unethical financial transactions."

The recording then asks the recipient to "please press '1' to get more details.

The call is a data harvesting or phishing attempt, which could lead to identity theft. Pressing the button puts the recipient in touch with a scammer who will supposedly verify their National Insurance number. Unfortunately, anyone who responds is revealing key personal details putting their finances in danger

If you receive this call, do not ever press 1 and please warn others about it. Also, report it to the authorities, such as Advice Direct Scotland or Police Scotland on 101.


Protect Scotland App

As a result of information received from communities, our members and key partners the following advice has been circulated

NHS Scotland have launched a new test and protect mobile phone app, "designed to help us protect each other, reduce the spread of coronavirus and avoid further lockdowns". The app will alert you if you have been in close contact with another app user who tests positive for coronavirus and can help in determining contacts that you may have.

If you are contacted by NHS (test and protect) it will be by phone on a single national telephone number 0800 030 8012

Be aware that scammers are now exploiting this to commit fraud by contacting the general public advising them that they have been in near contact with someone who has tested positive with Coronavirus and as such you must get a test and self- isolate.
Scammer’s are thereafter asking for payments for booking tests / sending out testing kits by post / courier etc.

NHS Scotland Contact Tracers will:
in some cases, send a text to let you know that you will be receiving a call from NHS Scotland  (if mobile is available)
call from a single, national telephone number - 0800 030 8012
always introduce themselves, tell you why they are contacting you and address you by your name
give you the option to call back the above number to provide reassurance that the service is legitimate
Be aware that phone numbers can be spoofed. Consider phoning back using a different phone from the one your received the call. Call will be received on mobile, if concerned phone back on landline

Contact Tracers will never ask you:
for information other than your movements and the people you have been physically close to
to phone a premium rate number
to make a purchase, payment or donation
for your medical history unrelated to coronavirus
for your bank details
for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
for your passwords or PIN numbers, or to set up any
for control of your computer, smartphone or tablet, or to download anything
to visit a website that does not belong to NHS Scotland or the Scottish Government

For further information please go to https://www.nhsinform.scot/campaigns/test-and-protect

Anyone with information can contact Police Scotland on 101, Advice Scotland on 0808 164 6000 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Please circulate to family, neighbours, friends and colleagues

Police Scotland are asking all members of the rural community to look out for any suspicious activity around their farms after a Starfire navigation system and screen, fitted to a John Deere tractor, was stolen from a farm near Annan, Dumfriesshire.  The theft occurred overnight on 11th/12th September 2020.  This is a UK wide issue with organised criminals targeting farms.

If you have anything to report, or someone offers you one of these devices to buy, contact the Police immediately on 101, or if a crime is in progress call 999.  Please also report any vehicles, registrations and marks of vehicles that you find in suspicious circumstances.

  • Police are encouraging these types of systems to be locked away securely when not in use. 
  • Tractors should also be secured by keeping them in locked compounds where possible, or near to farm buildings and security lights to minimise opportunities for thieves to work undetected.

The following information is being circulated on behalf of Police Scotland


Police Scotland are aware of an increase in fraudulent activity regarding Facebook.

The scam works whereby the victim is contacted by the scammer under the guise of claiming to be someone from their contacts list such as a friend of family member.

It is noticeable that there may be some general chat before the scammer asks for a loan of cash to purchase food stuffs or pay an outstanding bill.

They will thereafter provide banking details into which the cash is to be paid into.  This request is generally complied with given that it is suspected as being a trusted source (friend or family). There is generally a promise that the money will be paid back within a few days or next pay day.

No monies are ever paid back and it is only when further enquiries / contact is made with the person requesting the cash that it becomes clear the original request did not come from them.

  • Should you receive such a request, which in itself is out of the ordinary, do not make any payment until you are sure it is a genuine request.
  • All efforts should be made to speak to your friend or family member making the request by phone prior to any cash being sent to ensure that it is a genuine request.
  • Never ask for a direct phone number from the person requesting the cash.  This may take you directly back to the scammer.
An information video on computer fraud is listed below.


Anyone with information can contact Police Scotland on 101, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Have you bought anything online recently?…

Almost 34% of all retail sales during May 2020 were carried out online, and new research suggests that only 16% of UK consumers intend to return to their old shopping habits post-lockdown.

Online shopping fraud during lockdown

Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, received over 16,000 reports relating to online shopping and auction fraud during the lockdown, with losses totalling over £16m. Members of the public have reported buying mobile phones (19%), vehicles (22%), electronics (10%) such as games consoles, AirPods and MacBooks , and footwear (4%) on sites such as eBay (18%), Facebook (18%), Gumtree (10%) and Depop (6%), only to have the items never arrive. 

Top tips for shopping online securely:

Choosing where to shop:

If you’re making a purchase from a company or seller you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first. For example, by checking to see if others have used the site and what their experience was.

Email accounts:
Use a strong, separate password for your email account. Criminals can use 
your email to access other online accounts, such as those you use for online shopping.

Scam messages:
Some of the emails or texts you receive about amazing offers may contain links to fake websites. Not all links are bad, but if you’re unsure don't use the link, go separately to the website. And remember, if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. 

Payment method:
If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one as other payment providers may not provide the same protection.

What to do if you’ve fallen victim to online shopping fraud

We all make mistakes and these days the scams can be incredibly convincing.

If you think you’ve visited, or made a purchase on, a bogus website, you should first, take a note of the website's address, then close down your internet browser. You should then report the details to Action Fraud and contact your bank to seek advice.

Whether you've been a victim of fraud will depend on how much information you’ve provided to the website, so keep an eye on your bank transactions, if you can. Contact your bank immediately about anything that you don’t recognise, even small amounts.

For more information about how to stay safe online, please visit www.actionfraud.police.uk/cybercrime

              Theft of Quad Bikes – Warning

Following a recent increase in the theft of quad bikes Police Scotland are warning owners to ensure quad bikes are secure when not in use, to look out for any suspicious vehicles and occupants, note vehicle registration numbers and report details.

Quad bikes are a popular target for criminals. Keys should be removed and the vehicle immobilised when not in use. They should be kept in a locked garage or shed and should never be left in open view. Block the machine in with other equipment so that it cannot be pushed away.

If your property is high value fit a tracking device or a data-tracking chip. Keep a record with photographs and serial numbers where possible. If they are stolen and later recovered it will be much easier for the property to be identified and returned to you.

If you see anything suspicious report to Police Scotland on 101 or 999 in an emergency. You can also contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you wish to remain anonymous.

Please be aware that Police Scotland are reporting a spike in thefts of agricultural plant, in particular tractors and telehandlers, across Scotland.

Find below some advice on how to keep your equipment safe and secure 

Steps you can take to prevent machinery theft happening on your land:
  • Where possible, vehicles should be housed in a lockable garage or building, ideally with security lighting installed to the perimeter.
  • Vehicles should always be locked when not in use, with the keys kept hidden and locked away in a secure location.
  • Keep recordings or photographs of serial numbers and vehicles as these can be crucial in recovery, should the worst happen.
Steps you can take to prevent theft of Quads and All-Terrain Vehicles:
  • Invest in a bespoke quad security device, such as Quadvice or a quality padlock and chain, such as those approved by Secured By Design - a police approved product scheme. Securing to a fixed point on the ground or something that takes time to remove will also act as a deterrent.
  • Never leave your keys in the ignition, even if you only briefly leave your ATV unattended.
  • Keep gates to yards closed as open gates can be an open invitation to thieves.
Steps you can take to prevent theft of Tractors:
  • Mark machinery with DNA marking devices and forensic marking products
  • Sign up to CESAR, an agricultural equipment registration scheme, which increases the chance of recovering stolen goods by helping police identify stolen machinery
  • Have the Vehicle Identification Number etched on windows. This makes the vehicle more detectable and less appealing to thieves because they have to grind out the numbers.
  • Instal immobilisers, chip keys and trackers as these are a simple way to deter criminals or track vehicles and can be fitted easily by an experienced agricultural engineer. 
If you notice anything unusual on your land and premises or when you are out and about in the countryside call Police Scotland Tel 101. If a crime is being committed call 999.

TV Licence SCAM

We have received notification from a NWS member in Ayrshire who recently received a TV Licence email Scam.
Fraudsters using fake but official looking TV Licence emails are attempting to hook victims in and trick them into parting with their money by indicating their account could not be automatically renewed and directing them to a link on the email to set up a new direct debit.
How you can protect yourself:
Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details.
Don’t assume a phone call or email is authentic, even if someone knows your basic details (such as your name or address). Remember, criminals can spoof phone numbers and email addresses to appear as companies you know and trust, such as TV Licencing.
Your bank will never call and ask you for your PIN, full banking password, or ask you to transfer money out of your account.
What to do if you’ve fallen victim:
Let your bank know as soon as possible and monitor your bank statements regularly for any unusual activity.
If you suspect your identity may have been stolen you can check your credit file quickly and easily online. Use a reputable service provider and follow up on any unexpected or suspicious results.
If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, report it to Police Scotland on 101




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